January 5, 2012 In the final days of 2011, the National Park Service purchased the 3.4-acre shoreline property on Dove Bay of Rainy Lake (shown above) from the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. Visible to nearly all visitors traveling into the Park from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, this property will be restored to its natural state beginning in 2012 and be made accessible for all to enjoy.
The "Dove Bay" property was purchased from a willing seller in 2007, through a joint partnership between Voyageurs National Park Association and the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. Parks and Trails bought and held the property, while VNPA covered holding costs, hired contractors to perform abatement of lead found in the soil, and advocated for the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund appropriations necessary to allow the National Park Service to buy the land for preservation.
We are thrilled to announce that the transaction has finally come full circle. This was the first purchase of our Land Preservation Initiative, VNPA's program to complete public ownership of Voyageurs National Park by working with willing sellers of the 50+ properties remaining within Park boundaries.
We owe an enormous thank you to: the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, the WM Foundation and the Wallace C. Dayton Voyageurs National Park Legacy Fund, Voyageurs National Park and the National Park Service, Pelland-Swenson and Rainy Lake Construction Co., Senator Klobuchar, Senator Franken and Representative McCollum (who supported appropriations from the Land and Water Conservation Fund), Frank Pavek, Scott Haugen, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. who provided extraordinary pro-bono legal support and grants for the Land Preservation Initiative, and of course, our members!